Travelling Volunteer Yoga Teacher
This post is about my personal experiences as a travelling yoga teacher taking on various volunteering jobs across Asia.
I went to India to do my 200 h TTC in February 2018. I was absolutely certain that I wanted to be a teacher after. I had quit my job back in Germany and had saved up enough money to stay in Asia for the next few months.
I had heard from yoga teacher friends that scoring a teaching gig overseas was not too hard. So, while still doing my 200h TTC, I registered at Yogatrade.com and Yogatraveljobs.com and applied for volunteering positions across Asia.
And I got lucky!
Here is a list of my volunteering positions in Asia:
March 2018: 1-week ‘Om&Roam’ 1-week Yoga Seva Project, near Yangon (Myanmar)
April/May 2018: teaching yoga at the Vegetarian restaurant and Yoga studio ‘Simple Things’, in Kampot (Cambodia)
Sept-Nov 2018: volunteering at the social enterprise ‘Banteay Srey Spa & Yoga studio’, in Kampot (Cambodia)
Dec 2018-Feb 2019: teaching yoga, meditation and Yoga Nidra at the Hotel & Trekking Centre ‘Welikande Villas’, near Kandy (Sri Lanka)
All these roles were volunteering positions – mostly I worked in exchange for food and accommodation – sometimes I made some extra money teaching privates or workshops.
Was it worth it?
I gained so much valuable teaching experience. As a new teacher back home in Berlin (or in
Germany in general), I would have most likely not been able to teach as much as I did in Asia. Most days I taught two classes, and at most places I had the liberty to teach what and how I wanted to teach. These months in Asia really allowed me to figure out who I am as a teacher, to find my voice and what I want to share in my classes.
Comparing my classes from the beginning to the ones I was teaching at the end of my time in Sri Lanka, I can see huge progress. Not that my initial classes were shit, but now I just feel way more confident in sharing what I actually like to practice myself.
Was I actually travelling as well or just teaching?
My main focus was on teaching – so that´s what I did. But having saved up some money before, I was also able to travel around. Especially after my time teaching in Sri Lanka, I really felt the need for some rest and recovery time. I had been teaching so much, that I was getting a bit burned out. One thing I´ve learned in this regard: It´s all about balance. To give your best as a teacher, allow yourself enough time to reenergise and recharge – not just physically, also mentally. Travelling itself can be quite draining as well. My travelling pace has become slower these days, seeing fewer places, but exploring them more in depth and taking some chill-time!
Would I recommend volunteering?
Depends on what stage of your yoga teaching career you are at. As a fresh teacher right out of a 200 h TTC, for me taking on various volunteering jobs turned out to be a successful strategy. I learned so much, didn’t spend much money and was actually able to travel as well.
These days, having done my 300 h TTC and having been teaching for over 1.5 years, I´m not considering another volunteering role. I feel that it´s time to build my home base in Berlin. To really do my own thing and share all this with you.
See you in Berlin – or maybe on a yoga trip to Asia where I´m combining my two passions: yoga and travelling!
Are you considering taking on volunteering roles overseas?
What are your experiences?